Suresh Krishnamoorthy

India is the market to reckon with, says Vice President of the company

  • India will need 856 aircraft in 20 years
  • Domestic air travel shows rapid growth
  • India could overtake China on aircraft demand

    HYDERABAD: India will need 856 aircraft costing an estimated $ 72 billion in the next 20 years. That is what the Boeing forecast says.

    According to Dinesh A. Keskar, Vice-President, Sales, Commercial Airplanes, the Rajkot-born pointsman for Boeing since 1988, this estimate is based on the projection that domestic air travel is growing at an average of 20 per cent annually. Last year, it grew by 28 per cent.

    With domestic air travel booming, airlines are closing orders with manufacturers. In 1993, Jet Airways started with just three planes and now has 50 planes, he told The Hindu on the sidelines of the recently-concluded Indian Travel Congress.

    "For manufacturers, India is the market to reckon with and India will be fastest-growing aircraft market after China. The way things are now, India could soon overtake China on aircraft demand," he said.

    Recently, Boeing closed a $ 700 million deal with Air Sahara for ten 737-800 and signed a $ 11 billion order with Air India for 68 jets, including twenty three planes of the 777 variety, eight 777-200LR (long range) Worldliners, fifteen 777-300ERs (extended range) and twenty seven 787-8 Dreamliners. When the agreement on an open skies agreement with the United States of America happens, it will remove restrictions and open up more travel, Mr. Keskar said.